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About Horza

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    riots are tiny though / systems are huge

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    'Straya, love it or leave it!

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  1. Wishing you all the best GS!
  2. A bad customer service call in 1983 convinced Kim il-Sung there had to be a better way to get his goods from A to B.
  3. This is not true but if people keep saying it, it will become true. Do the people who make this a requirement for North Korean credibility realise that just four end-to-end nuclear tests have taken place? The Soviets tested this way twice. The US did it once in 1962 as a big fuck you to the Soviets for restarting atmospheric testing. The only other time a nuke has been test detonated on a missile was the 4th Chinese nuclear test, and they did it because people kept saying "they have nuclear bombs and they have missiles but they haven't successfully tested them both". Put another way: the US built thousands of nuclear missiles without feeling the need for such a test, and I haven't heard any skepticism about Britain, France, India, Pakistan or Israel's ability to stick a bomb on a missile. It's not the hard part. But if everyone insists that it's box Kim has to tick for certified deterrence he's going to oblige. You don't need satellite guidance if you're delivering a hydrogen bomb to a city.
  4. They have tested six times now, with the most recent test being a hydrogen bomb. Every one of the original nuclear powers had, or was on the path to compact missile-deliverable nuclear devices by their sixth test, and unlike them NK's weapons program didn't start from scratch. Mating a warhead to missile is not the hard part. The window to North Korea holding South Korean and Japanese cities at risk is closed. Deal with it.
  5. In the absence of talks, a North Korean attempt at a long range missile test capped with the detonation of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific is very likely, and not just because Trump and Kim are feuding. Having successfully tested their HS-14 ICBM on lofted trajectories taking it well into space, the DPRK needs to test it on a standard, flatter trajectory to be certain that it has the ability to reach the continental US. At a minimum this means firing another missile over Japan and far out to sea. Having now fired two HS-12 IRBMs over Japan without incurring the promised annihilation, it seems likely that KJU will be thinking about another flyover at a minimum, with or without a nuclear payload. At the same time, their now-thermonuclear program has hit the limits of what their underground testing facilities can contain. Demonstrating to the world (and to themselves) that they have the means to land an H-bomb on major US cities must be a tempting prospect even outside the current back-and-forth. As it is, KJU is in a white-hot race to demonstrate that North Korea has minimum credible deterrence vis the US, hoping that that will be enough to end the threats, verbal and otherwise, that the US has issued against his political life. Still, it's a huge risk. To avoid an absolutely crushing political backlash North Korea would at minimum have to post some kind of advance warning about where and when they'd be emptying a little bucket of sunshine. Even then, breaking the taboo on atmospheric nuclear testing is a hard move for a country otherwise angling for international sympathy against a belligerent orange kleptocrat. France came under severe pressure to end its Pacific testing program, and people like France. That's before we get to the orange one, and his response to this. He's been mostly deflecting the pressure to 'do something' about North Korea towards China, but nine months, dozens of missiles and one h-bomb later that's an increasingly stale act, one he might not be willing to repeat against a backdrop of sizzling orcas and flash-boiled whales. There would remain no good options but you tell him that. It'd be bad. Very bad.
  6. For context, that blackness is produced by post-90s famine policies of concentrating economic activity into the main urban centres, particularly Pyongyang, in addition to the DPRK's longstanding policy of of diverting resources to military uses over civilian. North Korea is poor, corrupt and ruthless towards its citizens, but it isn't primitive.
  7. Everything I've read about the NK program suggests it recieved intensive assistance from the AQ Khan network in the 1990s, which in all likelihood included acquiring compact designs (Pakistan's first test was a simultaneous detonation of five compact sophisticated devices). This would also account for their first couple of tests being sub-par. It's hard to screw up a simple fission test, but this program looks like it was a race to compact warheads from the start. I would be really interested in reading this consensus view that believes NK started building warheads from scratch and is still on 40s Fat Man designs. Just off the bat, NK has tested six times now, and none of the original nuclear powers was still on honking big designs by its sixth test. They were all well on their way to compact, thermonuclear designs, and this is despite in most cases starting from the ground up. NK didn't start from scratch and benefits from access to more advanced manufacturing techniques and a wealth of open source nuclear information (it's even a wealthier country than China and India were at the time of their first tests).
  8. Special update, from the soft cheese himself: What an age we live in. So, he still seems to think about North Korea as a bargaining chip in his sad, ungainly dance with China. The idea that NK is an 'embarrassment' to China suggests he still thinks he can bully Xi into putting more pressure on Kim, with the alternative being a military confrontation. He wants those to be the only two options, hence him shitting on Moon's diplomatic overtures. The 'embarrassment' line also works to deflect his own apparent inability to deter Kim. This is actually bizarrely encouraging because Trump is an incredibly lazy guy, so for as long as he chooses to think of North Korea as a problem that China should solve he won't feel as compelled to take action. There's room for some kind of muddle-through path there if the adults in the region can work together but not if the US won't budge on NK suspending testing as a pre-condition to talks.
  9. I don't know why the idea of North Korea fitting a successfully tested compact nuclear device into a decades old tried and tested Soviet warhead is a leap of faith for so many. As for their conventional and chemical artillery, they've had that for several decades longer than they've had nukes, so I don't know what freedom of action Trump had that he's about to lose. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ He started this year tweet-brawling with Kim over his "It won't happen!" ICBM, and nine months later, here we are. Also, though things have gotten tense at no point has the US made the kind of big regional manpower and materiel deployments that would accompany serious preparations for strikes, or recalled diplomatic staff, closed embassies, etc. There was even a glimmer of mutual understanding, when after the Guam threat, the US decided not to deploy strategic assets for the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, and in return KJU didn't bracket Guam. But then Tillerson and Trump decided to make a big play about how Kim had backed down, when the Guam statement had a lot of other conditions beyond just taking out missile subs, so they then looked like idiots when North Korea fired over Hokkaido at the same time that the US and Japan were doing missile defence drills there. Who can say what goes on in that soft cheese brain of Trump's, but I think at some level he senses that war with North Korea might be really bad for his hotels or something, and his generals are in all likelihood trying to ram that home every day. I hope it's enough.
  10. Like I said, people don't want to deal with the fact that North Korea can already hit South Korea and Japan with nuclear-armed short and medium range ballistic missiles. Once that's in the conversation it's harder to argue that it's somehow worth risking millions of lives to prevent NK holding US cities at risk. Hey, there's always more sanctions and threatening tweets. But seriously, I think the chances of this administration successfully entering into sustained talks with North Korea are vanishingly small. Even if you could stop Trump tweeting, even if the State Department was taken off life support, there's just no politically satisfying deal to be struck any more. Denuclearisation is off the table and there's zero chance of the North Koreans allowing inspections, so the best on offer is going to be a halt to nuclear testing and a freeze on missile (but not satellite launch vehicle) testing, in exchange for an end to joint exercises with South Korea. Could you sell that to Trump? Could he sell that to this Congress, let alone the base? It's the same problem that's faced every US administration since Bush and crew let the Agreed Framework implode, and I don't see this administration solving it. So, given that diplomacy is odious and war would be utterly horrific, I think we're stuck with more tensions, testing and tweetstorms.
  11. Things that don't often get addressed when people talk about attacking North Korea: North Korea likely has dozens of compact nuclear devices ready to be mated to missiles. In addition to their almost-operational ICBMs and IRBMs North Korea has loads of operational ballistic missiles of the short and medium range variety. These missiles are all road mobile, and some are solid fuelled, which means they can be stored with fuel and fired in minutes. Their rocket forces are really big on hiding their missiles in caves and tunnels, and North Korea abounds in deep, forested valleys. Their stated nuclear strategy is to pre-emptively attack US bases and ports in South Korea and Japan to prevent an overwhelming conventional force assembling. Taken together, I don't see why anyone would be confident in a preventative war.
  12. That the person giving this defence of rule of law oversaw the incarceration, torture and execution of heretics tells you a lot about rule of law.
  13. The briefest look at American history should disabuse people of the idea that rule of law is incompatible with white supremacy and bloodshed.
  14. Why people think war with state with dozens of nuclear-armed short and medium range ballistic missiles pointed at South Korea and Japan is some kind of bitter pill it is necessary to swallow to prevent them acquiring roughly the same capability to hold US cities at risk as China escapes me.
  15. People who have definite policy views and political alignments with one side yet some reason feel the need to add their personal affront at the attitude of some on the other side as an equal or greater weight to their decision puzzle me. Isn't that an admission that one's considered political views are to a greater or lesser degree hostage to naked personal resentment?